We broke down and turned on the furnace….

We’ve been waking up to 63 degrees in the house…usually I turn a space heater on in the livingroom and it gets it up to a balmy 67 or 68….but it is 63 tonight and the temp will only drop from there. It’s been great having lower electric bills!

We spent Halloween evening with the regulars at Ice House auction. The owners, Bill and Julie, are becoming a couple of my favorite people…He and I have volunteered to work their concession stand every Friday night since the first of June. Occasionally, he ends up helping ring and tonight I did the front office check in and cash out. We do it because we have a great time and it is a good way to meet new people and because I love to find treasures….anyway…He loves old clocks…and tonight to thank us for our help, they bought us an old Seth Thomas clock. He looked it up on line and found it is an 1800s clock…probably 1850 to 1855. Awesome!!!

A week ago, we helped out with a Saturday morning auction…kind of a big deal, a collector was selling off his Indian artifact collection. Everything from arrowheads to Indian tools and beads…I didn’t have a lot of interest in it, just there to help out….but I sat In the back and watched and had a stirring of emotion, especially when the tools were held up and you could see the detail of the handiwork on the rocks that had been ground down and made into tools, I felt sentimental knowing that hundreds of years ago a man had a need and used what was there to make what he needed to survive. Similar feeling to exploring the colosseum in Rome, knowing the history, touching the stones and “imagining” all of the other generations of Romans who had also touched them.

Moments that put life into perspective. In the big picture, we are nothing but a grain of sand.

until next time….


While you have probably figured out that I loved Venice….my second favorite place is Rome. The sound, the hustle and bustle, the smells…we did most of Rome on foot which I think is the only way to see it. The second time in the Eternal City was as exciting for me as the first….but I think I loved it even more.









These pictures were take after the climb up the steps of The Altare della Patria also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or “Il Vittoriano” is a controversial monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. Wikipedia.

From the very top, we viewed the Colosseum, the Forum and the Pantheon along with just a wonderful view that gave me chills.

II Vittoriano is the home of Italy’s tomb of the unknown soldier guarded 24/7





The mustache on the rider is 5 feet across and it is said that 22 soldiers dined in the horses belly when the monument was completed


Random pictures of the colosseum:




And the Pantheon:




And just the people and life in Rome:









our room…I loved opening the shutters and hanging out the bathroom window in the morning and at night…just listening to the city waking up and going to sleep.




Ancient Rome

We took the train to Salerno today from Rome…the city is on the south end of the Amalfi coast in southern Italy. First time to see the Mediterranean Sea. We don’t have a beach per se as far as we walked today. Just incredibly huge rip rap. No waves which is the only disappointment for me…it is a neat city. We have some music wafting up here through our mini veranda doors from the outside bar downstairs. It may be along and loud night.

The Coloseum yesterday. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that 2000 years ago, Jewish slaves hauled marble to build it and it has withstood the wars,weather and emperors. Christa remarked that putting her hand on one of the stones was like connecting with someone back in the double digit years A D. Next door to the Coloseum are more remnants of our ancient past…some currently being excavated. The history connected to the area is morbidly exciting and excruciatingly cruel and the ghosts nearly vibrate thru the psyche. Chris did mention that she got the tickets at the “Christian rate” although there is a discrepancy as to whether Christians were actually thrown to the lions at the colesium or close to the nearby chariot races. We paid for a hop on hop off tour bus yesterday…it’s the way to go…it certainly makes you aware of what there is to see and what is important this trip or save for another trip. when we head back next week, he and I Are going to try to see thee Vatican and St. Peter’s square….along with michealangelos handiwork.

We walked from the hotel last night to see Trevi Fountain and so did thousands of our best friends.

thestreets in Rome are cobblestone, the width of an alley and mostly one way….in those streets, are the outside restaurant dining tables which are mostly filled. It’s nothing to be eating dinner and be close enough to hand a fork full to someone going by in their vehicle….there is no fear…it is controlled chaos at its best. So…

So until next time…

Hotel Suisse #italy

It is just like the movies….this is actually the first time in my life that I’ve been totally surrounded by…..there is no word. We were wheels down at the Rome airport around 7am on Wednesday…midnight Iowa time…immigration took about 40 minutes and the rest has been nothing but pleasure…Dave, Chris and Lys arrived about an hour later and the fairy tail began. We payed A private driver 100 euros to rocket ship us to Hotel Suisse by the Spanish steps. Incredible….nothing 5 star. Much, much better. Quaint, clean and the feel of Italy. The shuttered windows…… No words….

We fell into bed from total exhaustion and slept 4 hours…dave woke us up at 1600. The Spanish steps…there will be pics when we get home …named for the Spanish embassy to the vatican which has been in Rome for 300 years. Who new steps could be so interesting? You not only walk up and down them but you sit on them, you socialize on them. You gather above them and below them…they are a roman destination. Below and for several blocks is Rome’s Rodeo drive….what’s a Jimmy Choo they asked! All around there are handsome Italian boys giving out roses…”my gift to you”. Then they hit up the man as the woman walks away. They got Lys twice…We finally had the talk.. I explained that you have to walk by, ignore and shake your head no….Dave said Don’t make eye contact. It was costing him a fortune… We ate dinner in the plaza below the Pantheon…totally a dream. Google it. Drank wine, ate pasta and dessert all with a view of the ancient temple AD120. A stroll back to the hotel on cobblestone streets…romantic not in the amour kind of way just romantic. Shutters open now,cool breeze, street traffic breakfast in our room the italianway…I’m totally in awe!

Until next time